ACTE Announces Minnesota Agriculture Education Instructor as National Award Finalist


September 25, 2023 

Contact: Dominique Frascoia 


ACTE Announces Minnesota Agriculture Education Instructor as National Award Finalist

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Today, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced Becky Cronk, Agriculture Education Instructor at St. James Area Schools in St. James, Minnesota, as the 2023 ACTE Region III New Teacher of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education (CTE) teachers at the middle/secondary school level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities. 

Becky Cronk is a high school agriculture instructor at St. James Middle/Senior High School located in St. James, Minnesota. This school serves the city of St. James which has a population size of 4,600 people and the surrounding small towns with populations sizes under 400. The community is very rural and agriculture plays a large role in the economic standing of the community. The St James School has 533 students in 6-12 and 49% are minority students-most Hispanic. 65% of the St. James students qualify for free or reduced lunch outside of a COVID year. The school employs two full time agriculture teachers who see most of the 230 6-8th graders and around 175 high school students each year. Becky teaches in a trimester schedule with six class periods a day. This year Becky is teaching the following classes: Crop Science, Floriculture, Fish and Wildlife, Careers, Vet Science, Business and Personal Finance, Spring Horticulture, Landscape Design, Small animal, and 3 Junior High Classes 

Becky believes that her purpose as a teacher is to provide opportunities for students. She wants them to have the opportunity to learn, the opportunity to try something new and the opportunity to be heard.  Becky also believes in Teaching the Whole Student. Her Students will learn about perseverance and dedication. They learn about leadership, communication, team work, responsibility, organization, problem solving, money management, and so much more. These things are what is going to make them productive adults. 

Cronk is one of five finalists for the 2024 national title. The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Gala, an award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on November 29, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. The Awards Gala is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, Goodheart-Willcox, The Army, and Stratasys. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit our webpage. 


About ACTE
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance and career development professionals and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.